Recipe By Chef John
Published Apr 27th
Prep 10m Cook 22m Additional - Ready In 32m
Servings 4 servings Calories 754.6

No two spaghetti aglio e olio recipes are alike, but this one is pretty true to the classic method. The key is slowly toasting the garlic slices to a perfect golden-brown in the olive oil. If it’s too light, you don’t get the full flavor and if it’s too dark it gets bitter. My advice? Do it perfectly.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a pasta bowl.
  2. 2 Combine garlic and olive oil in a cold skillet. Cook over medium heat to slowly toast garlic, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low when olive oil begins to bubble. Cook and stir until garlic is golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. 3 Stir red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt into the pasta. Pour in olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle on Italian parsley and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; stir until combined.
  4. 4 Serve pasta topped with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 754.6
  • Carbohydrate 87.4 g
  • Cholesterol 17.6 mg
  • Fat 34.5 g
  • Fiber 3.9 g
  • Protein 22.9 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.5 g
  • Sodium 354.8 mg
  • Sugar 3.3 g

Chef's Notes

It's not traditional, but for extra richness add 1 tablespoon of butter when you toss with the cheese.


  1. 1-5-2014: This was perfect Chef John! I loved the flavors of the garlic with the Italian parsley and cheese, with just a hint of the red pepper flakes. Who would have thought something so simple could make pasta this good. I tossed in some fresh steamed broccoli, which I found went good with this pasta. - Read more ...
  2. I made this after seeing it cooked on an Italian cooking show the other day. I have to be honest this is way too oily for me. I think the servings on this recipe are incorrect also. As a lb of pasta is going to feed a minimum of 6 people. Even the bag said - Read more ...
  3. This was excellent! I have made it a few times, and I cook it a little differently each time. I like to add shrimp, use extra garlic, add about 1-2 tablespoons of butter, and sprinkle about 1/3 cup of bread crumbs. It is pretty much shrimp scampi on pasta when I get done. (add the - Read more ...
  4. Finished the whole thing!!! So good! Doubled the red pepper. Forgot the parsley but it was still great. Too much olive oil will cut in half next time.
  5. This is one of the first dishes my Italian MIL taught me to make! She told me this was an important dish to know as it is tasty, very economical and you can clean out the fridge using up leftovers. Boy was she right! It is GREATt just as is.. all on its own. During - Read more ...
  6. This is so good and so easy! If you watch the video he has you add a half ladle of pasta water to the OO-garlic saute pan. This is important and is missing from the recipe. This stops the garlic from over cooking and getting bitter and it also adds that extra moisture to the - Read more ...
  7. This was a staple in our family growing up and it still is today! This is such a simple yet delicious pasta that can be served as a main or side dish. This is also a super economical meal. We usually eat this as a main dish w/ a nice salad and crusty bread but - Read more ...
  8. As my dad hailed from Italy I grew up eating this dish at least once a week. Now w/my own family I serve this as a side dish w/ pork chops substituting the spaghetti w/ extra thin egg noodles. Hubby who is a pasta critic loves it.
  9. I love this preparation for spaghetti. I used to the recipe from The Mediterranean Diet, and made it for years. I have adapted this recipe with elements of that one. For example, I add the parsley and chili flakes to the oil after the garlic has browned, and then also add a ladle of spaghetti - Read more ...

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